National exam Sciences June 2014
A young man smoking

[1] Civil society in Morocco is working hard to fight tobacco and drug addiction among young people. With the help o f non-governmental organisations, many teenagers have managed to give up smoking.

[2] Salim, eighteen years old. is one o f them. He tells his story to other young people to discourage them from smoking. “A friend offered me my first cigarette. Soon, I started buying my own cigarettes and got in the habit o f smoking. As my parents didn’t realise that I was smoking, I carried on until one day a teacher, who was a member o f an organisation, saved me. He gave me advice and support for several weeks till I finally quitted this bad habit ” Salim said.

[3] Samira, a secondary school student, started smoking and taking drugs when she was 13 because o f family problems. “My mother neglected me. She gave me money just to get rid of me. As for my dad. he only came home in the evening and always started shouting at my mother. I easily found refuge in drugs,” she explains.

[4] Amina Baaji, a teacher and member o f the Moroccan Association for Listening and Dialogue has helped several secondary school .students put their difficulties behind them. She stresses the importance of the role of parents in dealing with cigarette smoking, before it leads to drug addiction. “Families must look after their children
and try to understand them so that they will not become addicted, to tobacco or drugs”
She says. “Parent’s failure to listen to their children and understand their problems is the main  reason why young people start smoking or taking drugs,” she adds.

[5] Jamal Bahaoui, another teacher, agrees with Baaji. “If young people are to be protected from tobacco and drugs, families and schools must keep an eye on them and try to understand their needs and fears.” he explains.  ‘‘Teachers must spend more time listening to their students so that they can give them guidance and help them deal vdth their psychological problems,” he adds.

[6] “The best way to get the message across  is not by giving advice, but rather by encouraging young people to take part in anti-smoking and anti-dmg campaigns,” Jalal Tawfik, a psychiatrist, say. He encourages young people who have overcome addiction  to tabacco Or drugs to act as an example to others.

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